|On the other hand he who devotes himself |
to the study of the law of the Most High
will seek out the wisdom of all the ancients,
and will be concerned with prophecies;
|he will preserve the discourse of notable men |
and penetrate the subtleties of parables;
|he will seek out the hidden meanings of proverbs |
and be at home with the obscurities of parables.
|He will serve among great men and appear before rulers; |
he will travel through the lands of foreign nations,
for he tests the good and the evil among men.
|He will set his heart to rise early to seek the Lord who made him, |
and will make supplication before the Most High;
he will open his mouth in prayer and make supplication for his sins.
|If the great Lord is willing, |
he will be filled with the spirit of understanding;
he will pour forth words of wisdom
and give thanks to the Lord in prayer.
|He will direct his counsel and knowledge aright, |
and meditate on his secrets.
|He will reveal instruction in his teaching, |
and will glory in the law of the Lord's covenant.
|Many will praise his understanding, |
and it will never be blotted out;
his memory will not disappear,
and his name will live through all generations.
|Nations will declare his wisdom, |
and the congregation will proclaim his praise;
|if he lives long, he will leave a name greater than a thousand, |
and if he goes to rest, it is enough for him.
|I have yet more to say, which I have thought upon, |
and I am filled, like the moon at the full.
|A hymn of praise. Sir.39.12-35|
|Listen to me, O you holy sons, |
and bud like a rose growing by a stream of water;
|send forth fragrance like frankincense, |
and put forth blossoms like a lily.
Scatter the fragrance,
and sing a hymn of praise;
bless the Lord for all his works;
|ascribe majesty to his name |
and give thanks to him with praise,
with songs on your lips, and with lyres;
and this you shall say in thanksgiving:
|"All things are the works of the Lord, for they are very good, |
and whatever he commands will be done in his time."
No one can say, "What is this?" "Why is that?"
for in God's time all things will be sought after.
|At his word the waters stood in a heap, |
and the reservoirs of water at the word of his mouth.
|At his command whatever pleases him is done, |
and none can limit his saving power.
|The works of all flesh are before him, |
and nothing can be hid from his eyes.
|From everlasting to everlasting he beholds them, |
and nothing is marvelous to him.
|No one can say, "What is this?" "Why is that?" |
for everything has been created for its use.
|His blessing covers the dry land like a river, |
and drenches it like a flood.
|The nations will incur his wrath, |
just as he turns fresh water into salt.
|To the holy his ways are straight, |
just as they are obstacles to the wicked.
|From the beginning good things were created for good people, |
just as evil things for sinners.
|Basic to all the needs of man's life |
are water and fire and iron and salt and wheat flour and milk and honey,
the blood of the grape,
and oil and clothing.
|All these are for good to the godly, |
just as they turn into evils for sinners.
|There are winds that have been created for vengeance, |
and in their anger they scourge heavily;
in the time of consummation they will pour out their strength
and calm the anger of their Maker.
|Fire and hail and famine and pestilence, |
all these have been created for vengeance;
|the teeth of wild beasts, and scorpions and vipers, |
and the sword that punishes the ungodly with destruction;
|they will rejoice in his commands, |
and be made ready on earth for their service,
and when their times come they will not transgress his word.
|Therefore from the beginning I have been convinced, |
and have thought this out and left it in writing:
|The works of the Lord are all good, |
and he will supply every need in its hour.
|And no one can say, "This is worse than that," |
for all things will prove good in their season.
|So now sing praise with all your heart and voice, |
and bless the name of the Lord.
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